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Sense of community in a remote mining town: Validating a Neighborhood Cohesion scale

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American Journal of Community Psychology


Psychometric properties and determinants of Buckner's Neighborhood Cohesion Index (NCI) have previously been reported for 206 individuals from three Washington, DC suburbs. This study analyses the properties and determinants of the scale for 1182 mine workers in Elliot Lake, a remote Canadian single-industry town. Data were collected through in-person interviews. The scale in the Elliot Lake sample was highly reliable (α=.91) and the Elliot Lake and Washington NCI item-total scale correlations were similar. Multiple regression found income and education related significantly negatively and years in neighborhood and home ownership significantly positively to NCI with coefficients comparable to those Buckner found in Washington. However, additional significant positive predictors of NCI were home equity, length of home ownership, and the presence of both pre-school-age and school-age children in the home, whereas a significant negative predictor was poor health. The NCI thus appears to be stable across societies, and shows systematic relationships with background variables. Home equity, duration of home ownership, children and health were significant predictors of NCI in our larger Canadian sample.

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This paper is based on data from the Elliot Lake Tracking Study. We are eager to acknowledge the contribution of our collaborators, David Leadbeater and Peter Suschnigg, in designing the study and collecting the data. We take full responsibility for our conclusions. Funding for the study has been provided by the Laurentian University Institute for Northern Ontario Research and Development, The Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, and the Elliot Lake Job Creation Fund.

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Robinson, D., Wilkinson, D. Sense of community in a remote mining town: Validating a Neighborhood Cohesion scale. Am J Commun Psychol 23, 137–148 (1995).

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